Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

Important Second Amendment Case Reheard by Federal Appellate Court

Friday, May 13, 2016

Important Second Amendment Case Reheard by Federal Appellate Court

On Wednesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reheard the NRA-supported case Kolbe v. Hogan, which challenges Maryland’s bans on various popular semi-automatic rifles and detachable magazines.  In early February, a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit vacated a lower court ruling that upheld the bans, but the court agreed to en banc rehearing before the full fifteen-member court.

John Parker Sweeney, arguing on behalf of Maryland gun owners and firearm businesses, began argument with a very simple explanation for the court.  The Maryland law, like the handgun bans at issue in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, bans the possession of common firearms that are kept for self-defense within the home, so the law must fail under the Supreme Court’s established precedents.  Under a barrage of questions from the court, Sweeney continually pressed home the point that this case is actually much easier than the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller because the firearms at issue in this case represent the most popular rifles in the country, yet they are used in only a very small number of crimes as compared to handguns. 

While it is impossible to guess how the court will rule in this case, the decision will almost certainly hinge on whether the three-judge panel correctly determined that “strict scrutiny” was the appropriate standard of review.  When courts review constitutional questions of law, they do so under differing standards.  Strict scrutiny is generally applied only where a statute creates a substantial burden on a fundamental right.  The decision to apply strict scrutiny is often seen as fatal to the challenged statute and it would almost certainly be in this case.  The bans in this case, like most gun-control laws, cannot be justified as effective public safety measures under close scrutiny by the judiciary. 

The need for strict scrutiny in cases impacting the right to keep and bear arms is the reason that NRA has led the effort to amend state right to arms provisions to clearly require the application of strict scrutiny.  This effort has already led to constitutional amendments in Alabama, Louisiana, and Missouri and an NRA-supported resolution for a strict scrutiny amendment is currently moving through the Oklahoma legislature.  

While it may seem to many gun owners that these amendments should be superfluous because the right to keep and bear arms is clearly a fundamental constitutional right and therefore deserving of strict scrutiny, several post-Heller courts have applied lower level scrutiny to laws that burden the Second Amendment.  In the Kolbe case, the panel majority’s decision to apply strict scrutiny represents an extremely important step for gun rights litigation because it ensures that the Second Amendment is given the same protection as other fundamental constitutional rights.  It may be several months before the court issues its en banc decision, but you can be sure that your NRA-ILA will keep you apprised of any further developments in this important case.

BY NRA-ILA Staff

TRENDING NOW
Anti-Gun Congresswoman Introduces Magazine Ban, Aims Slippery Slope at the Gun on Your Hip

News  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Anti-Gun Congresswoman Introduces Magazine Ban, Aims Slippery Slope at the Gun on Your Hip

We’ve been down this road before, and we know gun control doesn’t work. 

Everytown and Hollywood Launch New Campaign Against Pro-gun Legislation

News  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Everytown and Hollywood Launch New Campaign Against Pro-gun Legislation

In the wake of the still-unfolding Harvey Weinstein scandal, one might have thought that America would receive a brief reprieve from Hollywood’s ceaseless moralizing. However, on October 18, 2017, Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, ...

Anti-Gun Billionaire George Soros Pumps $18 Billion into His Political Apparatus

News  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Anti-Gun Billionaire George Soros Pumps $18 Billion into His Political Apparatus

In recent years, Soros’s anti-gun efforts have been eclipsed by those of another billionaire, former-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. However, the Open Society continues to attack American gun owners.

Oregon: Governor Signs Anti-Gun Bill into Law

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Oregon: Governor Signs Anti-Gun Bill into Law

Yesterday, Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 719A.  Based on a California law enacted in 2014, SB 719A will create a so-called “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO) that could be obtained by a law enforcement ...

NRA Doesn’t ‘Buy’ Politicians, but Gun Controllers Do

News  

Friday, October 20, 2017

NRA Doesn’t ‘Buy’ Politicians, but Gun Controllers Do

Gun control supporters who peddle the myth about NRA money aren’t only wrong, they are ignoring team gun control’s own sordid history of buying politicians. And forget Michael Bloomberg for the moment, gun control supporters ...

No Sale: Marketing Tricks in Gun Control

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, October 20, 2017

No Sale: Marketing Tricks in Gun Control

Advertising professionals know that switching to a fresh new moniker and a more contemporary or dynamic logo can revitalize a tired or humdrum brand.

Bad News For “Universal” Background Check Supporters

News  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Bad News For “Universal” Background Check Supporters

NRATV Host Cam Edwards describes a study that shows the ineffectiveness of so-called “universal” background checks

Illinois: Urgent Action Needed – Numerous Anti-Gun Bills Readied for Consideration Next Week

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Illinois: Urgent Action Needed – Numerous Anti-Gun Bills Readied for Consideration Next Week

Today, multiple gun control bills were released by the House Rules Committee and have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for a hearing.

California: Governor Brown Signs Remaining Anti-Gun Bill

Sunday, October 15, 2017

California: Governor Brown Signs Remaining Anti-Gun Bill

Yesterday, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 424, the remaining anti-gun bill on his desk. 

Gun Banners Unmasked: The Vengeful Face of the Anti-gun Agenda Emerges Once Again

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, October 13, 2017

Gun Banners Unmasked: The Vengeful Face of the Anti-gun Agenda Emerges Once Again

What happens to the 400 million or so firearms already in private hands? How does society actually benefit from his plan? Stephens doesn’t say. He apparently just trusts that things would eventually work themselves out ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.